Good day, Champions! This is your reminder that this week Friday, April 15, Princess Ahira will be available on Amazon for free! In the meantime, good luck to everybody who is scrambling to submit their taxes in America.
Okay, last week I mentioned I was a little short on ideas for blog posts. You Champions pulled through for me, and gave me a bunch of ideas to talk about. Today’s topic will be the “limits” of magic in the Timeless Fairy Tale series and the Snow Queen books.
First, I need to lay down some building blocks. As some of you have noticed, there’s a big difference between the way magic is used in the Snow Queen books and the rest of the Timeless Fairy Tale series. The reason for that is time. The Snow Queen lives before magic was widely used and accepted. Very little was known about it, exploring it was discouraged, and those who had it were persecuted or enslaved. The Timeless Fairy Tale series takes place centuries later, which means they’ve had a long time to research and develop magic.
(As a side note, I do have plans to release other fairy tales that take place between the Snow Queen and the Timeless Fairy Tales, which will illustrate the developmental journey magic takes through the years. )
A main feature of the Snow Queen books is the presence of a limit or price to magic. It’s implied that those who have a lot of magic, like Rakel, usually have prices. Magic users who do not have as powerful magic, or as much magic, have limits. As you might guess, having a “price” is a lot rarer, but the Snow Queen is filled with it because Rakel is the main heroine, and her power saddles her with a price.
So, let’s dig into limits! An example of a magic user with limits is Tollak. Tollak is an early version of a craftmage. He is limited in what he can do because he doesn’t know much about his powers, but his real magic “limit” is how much magic he can channel, how quickly he can do it, and what he can enchant. It’s not often discussed in the book because you see him so little, and very little is known about magic… but you can see his constraints in his Timeless Fairy Tales equivalent, Rumpelstiltskin.
Rumpelstiltskin is also a craft mage. As you might recall from his book, he does have a few limits to his magic. First of all, a low-quality item can only hold low-quality spells. Conversely, a high-quality item can hold high-quality spells and more spells. What this means is that Rumpelstiltskin cannot churn out high-quality enchantments with cheap products. Additionally, time is a constraint for him. Rumpelstiltskin is considered the strongest craft mage alive because he can work his enchantments stronger and faster than the other craft mages. However, the enchantments still take time. For example, in Rumpelstiltskin, Stil says that he can enchant 100 swords in a day. (Other craftmages can produce approximately twelve a day.) Stil maxes out at 100. It’s a higher number, but it’s still a limit. He can’t go faster than that, nor can he sustain it forever.
The same rules apply to Tollak, he just doesn’t know it. Stil attended an Academy, has reference books, served as an apprentice, and more. Tollak had to make it up as he goes. Think of it like this: Stil can read books and spells created by every craftmage before him. Tollak is the author of the first craftmage reference books.
I do feel like I need to give Stil his proper due. Because he’s such a powerful craftmage, he actually has an additional “limit” that very few other craftmages have had. You’ll recall it from his book—if Stil is crafting a specific/customized spell for a person, he needs some sort of compensation. It doesn’t have to be an equal trade, but it’s still required. (Anything he makes in advance, or anything that isn’t cued to a specific person, skirts this requirement.) This is because Stil is that genius of a craftmage, it helps keep him in check.
So the limits of magic themselves haven’t changed much—the biggest difference is that now the mages know they are there and make sure they work within the boundaries. However, there are ways to work around a few of these limits, just as there are ways for powerful magic users to lessen the “price” of magic, but that’s another post for another time, and I’ve rambled enough for today.
I hope you found this interesting. Enjoy Princess Ahira, have a great week, and thank you for reading!
Pat King says
And this is what makes your books better than a lot of the many other fantasy books I’ve read. You’ve actually taken the time to construct a world – and a magic system – with rules. Too many authors toss in the idea of “magic” into their stories, without taking the time to figure out how it should all work. It’s all done on the fly with them, and it shows.
Thanks for taking the time to actually construct something that makes sense and follows logical rules. It’s why I fell in love with your stories, and continue to read your books.
Awww, thank you, Pat! I agree that having a magic system with rules is crucial if you’re going to use magic in a story, otherwise things grow unbelievable really quick. (My biggest gripe is overpowered characters, which is why I used Rakel’s “price” to take a pick-axe to her.) The challenge is trying to strike a balance between presenting the rules and trying not to be a bore. 😉
Anyway! Thank you so much for your praise. I’m not certain I deserve it, but I’m so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the books!